Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Facts About Me (New and Improved)

About two years ago, pretty much everyone on Facebook did "25 Facts About Me" notes. I did it back then, and you can find it if you're my Facebook friend and are willing to dig that deep into the archives; I'm not. Things have changed somewhat since then, so I'll post twenty-five (maybe) new facts about me. You might find out things about me you didn't know before! Anyway, here we go.

  1. I was once a member of a winning basketball team. We only played once, though, and we won by one basket that was made by a member of the other team.
  2. I have recently been watching the 2009 remake of The Electric Company, and have fallen in love with Jenni Barber, who plays Lisa Heffenbacher.
  3. Despite having an iPod and loving it, I still use my portable CD player sometimes. I've burned quite a few CDs for myself in the past year.
  4. The first movie I ever owned on DVD was Big Fat Liar, which starred Frankie Muniz, Amanda Bynes and Paul Giamatti.
  5. I wasn't completely sure what to put on my Christmas list this past year, because so much of what I wanted--DVDs, books, and music--I could easily get from the library.
  6. Despite giving up on video games in 2007, I still like some of the music from them. My personal favorite is the first track from Top Gear on the Super NES. It just makes me want to dance!
  7. While watching Wheel of Fortune, I usually am able to solve the puzzle early on. The one time I wasn't, it was a complete shock, especially considering that the answer was "Actress Anne Hathaway". (In my defense, I wasn't really paying attention.)
  8. One of my new song addictions is "Can't Back Down," from the Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam soundtrack. In my opinion, it's the "We're Not Gonna Take It" of 2010!
  9. I really got into this past season of Dancing With the Stars; my three favorites from the beginning were Kyle Massey, Jennifer Grey (who I dubbed "the cougar,") and Bristol Palin (my new crush.) It made me insanely happy that they ended up being the three finalists.
  10. Say what you will about dc Talk; their music has stood the test of time like none other in my collection. I have songs from all their studio albums on my iPod, and they sound just as good as they did when they were released.
  11. My computer came down with a virus several weeks ago; thanks to AVG and SpyBot, it has been completely cured.
  12. I often have "mini-concerts" when my parents are gone. If you're driving or walking down my street and you hear loud music, it's probably my stereo.
  13. I have five different 2011 calendars: a Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows one, an Alice in Wonderland one, an iCarly one, a Star Wars one, and a Book Lovers' Page-A-Day one.
  14. I have been watching the new season of Idol; my favorite so far is Sarah Sellers.
  15. My birthday is thirteen days away.
  16. In two months, I will celebrate two years of volunteering at my local library.
  17. I have really gotten into the new Nickelodeon show House of Anubis.
  18. I absolutely loved Jennifer Stone's reading of Freaky Monday; if you like audiobooks, you should give it a listen.
  19. I am eagerly awaiting the premiere of the next season of Design Star.
  20. My mom used to joke about Valerie Bertinelli and Barry Bostwick being my favorite actors.  The joke is too long to explain here; ask me sometime, and I'll tell you.
  21. Every time I listen to danceable music, I see (in my head, that is) random women dancing like they're in a new Disney Channel musical.
  22. I'm still waiting for your debut album, Siobhan Magnus.  Don't keep us "Sha-bon-bons" waiting, girl!
  23. My favorite store is MovieStop.
  24. I love my new iPad!
  25. I didn't think The Last Airbender was as bad as everyone else said it was.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Life = A Series of Fads?

Way back in 2004, I got the album Adam Up by the Christian parody band ApologetiX.  I played some of the songs on it hundreds of times--no exaggeration--and it was my favorite for quite a while.  One of my favorites on there was a spoof of Eminem's "Lose Yourself," titled "Look Yourself."  J. Jackson, the lead singer and parody lyric writer stated that, when he became a Christian, his friends and family didn't think much of it; they just thought it was another fad, and he'd be out of it as quick as he got into it.  Obviously, that wasn't the case, since he became a Christian in 1988 and is still performing in a CCM band to this day.  J. referred to it in "Look Yourself" with this lyric: "That's what'll happen, then, though: he'll go fanatic-y! Better go batten the hatches and hope it don't last!"
I've previously used that lyric as sort of a personal statement.  Sometimes, I wonder if that's exactly what people were thinking when I mentioned some new fascination, like when I walked into my homeroom junior year and announced, "Guess what, everyone? I've got a new celebrity crush!" and proceeded to tell them it was Anne Hathaway...or when I recently announced to my friends both on and off Facebook that Anne was no longer my number one celebrity crush, and had been replaced by Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice.  You may think that my life is nothing but a series of fads, and you'd be right...but only partly.
Why do I say "partly"? For all the short-lived crazes I've been into (Pokémon, Beanie Babies, Diff'rent Strokes, The Magic School Bus, Power Rangers...and the list goes on) there have also been some passions I've had for as far back as I can remember.  One of them is computers.  Ever since I started fiddling around with that old Commodore 64 at the age of two, I've always liked doing all kinds of stuff on them: playing games, making and printing stuff using desktop publishing software, typing out my feelings (like I'm doing right now,) researching things on the Internet, and so on.  Parodies are also a long-time passion.  Even before I really liked popular music all that well, I liked making and singing parodies.  I taught my friends parodies of "Prince Ali" and "Deck the Halls" that I'd heard from other kids, and who can forget the anti-school spoofs, with lyrics such as "Let's blow up stupid [name of school]! Hip, hooray!" or "[Name of school]! Dumb [name of school]! We dis you with our song! No part of us should ever be here, especially when we're gone!" (The latter made my best friend in sixth grade laugh out loud.) It continued from then into now; I still create and love them.
Even some things that I have been into can't really be considered fads.  Wiktionary defines a fad as "a phenomenon that becomes popular for a very short time."  You may think that Anne Hathaway falls into that category for me, but I'll tell you why she doesn't: I first got into her in March 2005, and I still somewhat like her.  (I didn't say I was completely giving her up; I said she was no longer my number one celebrity crush or favorite actress.) Do any of you honestly consider five years and ten months to be a short time?  Even video games weren't a fad with me.  Although I got out of them in 2007, I first got into them around 1999, so that equates to eight years.  Again, do you consider that a short time?
Besides which, many of us--by that, I mean everyone, not just autistics--have gone through fads at some point in our lives.  Remember how kids all over America were all fanatical about Pokémon back in 1999? (I should know; I was one of them.) How many of them have even touched one of those games in the past year? A small percentage, I'd be willing to bet.  Beanie Babies were the same way; people were collecting them in droves and selling them for super-high prices, but, over the past few years, I've seen them countless times at yard sales, often for only a buck or two each, when their starting price in the 90's was over twice that.  For many people of my generation, those things and others (such as Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers) are nothing but embarrassing memories.
I will close by saying this: My tastes in everything have changed over the years.  If you look at the spectrum of music on my iPod, it's a lot broader than my tastes in music were a decade ago.  I also used to detest "tween" shows, but I now have the star of one as my desktop background, and she's not even the first one to be on there.  I'm sure everyone could say that, though; many things they used to hate or laugh at, they ended up quite liking.  Who knows who will replace Victoria, or if she will even be replaced?  For now, though, I will wear my "Team TORi" shirt with pride.
Any comments?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Why Decry Entertainment?

DISCLAIMER: Most of you may recognize a good part of the stories referenced here, but there might be some that stump you.  If you have a question about what I'm referring to in part of this "song," let me know.  Otherwise, enjoy!

To the tune of "American Pie" by Don McLean

Not all that long ago...
I can still remember
How the TV used to make me smile.
And, I knew I was a big fan
When I played those games every chance
They gave me, and I was happy all the while.
Reality just made me shiver!
All the insults those kids delivered!
All that I could not take!
I just needed an escape!
Some people just cannot see why
Entertainment I really like!
Well, you know what I do not like?
The way it is decried.

So, why, why, entertainment decry?
There's so much that it has taught me!
I am not gonna lie!
And, it's something that I will continue to like!
Say, now, what new DVDs can I find?
What new, fun novels can I find?

Do you think romantic love
Is never what the TV shows?
I can tell you that's not so!

Back when Lizzie was with Gordo,
He wanted more, she didn't know!
He told her, she smooched him in the last episode!

Well, when Alice was in Wonderland
She saw all kinds of funny things!
That telefilm was so cool,
I just had to read the book!

Spider-Man wasn't having any luck
Defeating vile Doctor Octopus!
But, then, Doc Ock went and saved New York
By risking his own life!
My favorite film!


Now, on Tim Taylor's Detroit tool show,
He showed us all the La-Z-Bowl!
It's a comfortable toilet seat!

Garfield eats everything he sees!
And to Odie, he may be mean,
But Odie always acts stupidly!

Oh, and to bring that Prince Char down,
His father poisoned his royal crown!
The plot backfired on him
When the crown touched his own head!

And, while Cody may have had the smarts,
Mr. Moseby still got alarmed
When Cody and Zack went way too far
When fun they tried to find!
It's a great sitcom!


That purple car saved those baby animals
And got a ribbon from Outback Al!
Boy, Putt-Putt surely did it fast!

Fudge always loved to make a mess!
He even swallowed his brother's pet!
No wonder Peter Hatcher was so stressed!

Now, the girls thought that Wilde kid was cute!
They loved it when he sang his tunes!
He had so many fans,
Oh, but they did not really know him!

Anakin's only true love was killed
Because to the Dark Side he did yield!
There was so much that was revealed
In Return of the Jedi!
A real good movie!


And, there the Enterprise was in space,
When Picard and crew had to face
A guy who was a clone of their captain!

Come on, now: Jumpman's nimble, Jumpman's quick!
As long as you're good with your joystick
And never any of the hazards hit!

Oh, and, when Siobhan they did eliminate
So many people were in a rage!
It just wasn't fair!
Her fan page had the wrong number!

And, Charlie and his Grandpa had such delight
Seeing the factory from the inside!
The other kids didn't make it out all right,
'Cause Wonka they defied!
Read the novel!


I spent the night having the blues
When I saw the Seavers up and move!
What did behind that picture say?

Sarah almost made a bad choice!
She gave up on God years before,
But she did again seek and find the Way.

Luke was lying there, suffering
When his father came to his aid!
Vader may have been a machine,
But he was still partly human!

And the thing that I admire most
'Bout movies, games, books, and TV shows?
They make life more enjoyable,
And should not be decried!

That's why I'm singing:

Yes, I'm singing:

The Victoria Justice Song

To the tune of "Takin' Care of Business" by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

I love Nickelodeon
Their sitcoms are so awesome!
Like Drake & Josh and iCarly!
People don't get why I love it!
They say I'm too old for it!
I say, so what if it's "kiddie"?

And, there's a show I find
Better than others of its kind!
Its star is the one who makes it that way!
The show is Victorious!
I'm quite sure you can guess
Whose name I am about to say!

Yes, I love Victoria Justice! (What'd you say?)
Love Victoria J when she portrays!
Yes, I love Victoria Justice, and I find
That Miss Victoria's music is just top of the line!
Freak out!

When her show I'm watchin'
I almost die laughing
At the hilarious characters!
She may be a budding star,
But I know she'll go far!
That, I don't even have to wonder!

Other shows on Nickelodeon
Can also be fun
But Victorious creams them in all ways!
That show is such a joy!
I laugh at and enjoy
All the things that the characters say!


All right!

Who could not love Tori Justice?
She's a great of today!

She may be known for Victorious
But she's been in some other things
My favorite was that Spectacular! movie!
And, yes, who could not love
The special iFight Shelby Marx?
Yes, that was part of iCarly!

You will surely never find
A better star of our time!
Believe me, I've looked all over the place!
So, I'll continue to enjoy
Victoria spreading joy!
Like I said, she's a great of today!


Love Victoria Justice! (Whoo!)


Love Victoria Justice!
Her talents are sublime!

[For you, Victoria Justice. You rock!]

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Play it Again, Sam!

Pretty much all of us like music. Some people have only certain genres--or maybe just one--they enjoy. Others, like me, have a diverse music collection. If you look at my playlist, you'll see everything from Michael Ball to dc Talk to Twisted Sister to Run-DMC and much more. I pride myself in having a diverse collection of tunes. One thing that I've noticed, especially in the wake of iTunes and iPods, is that I seem to get addicted to certain songs.
When I say "addicted," I don't mean that I won't listen to or sing any other song. What I mean is, I just keep playing the song again and again. It's happened several times with different tracks. ApologetiX's "Simp Liztik" (a parody of a Limp Bizkit song with a title I won't utter here) almost instantly became the top played song on iTunes after I got their CD Keep the Change. The same thing happened with "Bone Digger," from the same band's Wordplay album. "The Imposter," by Kevin Max, still stands as my top played song, in part because I got the album right after getting my first iPod, which led to dozens of plays in a short amount of time. My latest song addiction is none other than "Freak the Freak Out" by Victoria Justice, although Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Wizards in Winter" may take its place soon.
Despite playing the same songs a zillion times, it's rare for me to get burned out on them. I still listen to those aforementioned tracks from time to time, and I enjoy it. Who knows what my next song addiction will be?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Whose Passion Is It Anyway?

Everyone has something they're passionate about. Most of my friends would say that God and their friends and families are very important to them. Those things are important, no doubt. However, there's always something--sports, video games, music, technology, history, science, literature, etc.--that each person really likes, and he or she enjoys doing, watching, and/or playing it, as well as talking about it. My passions are certain kinds of books, TV shows, movies, and music. Not only do I enjoy spending time with them, but I also like to talk to my friends about those things.
Some of you may think that's not a very good passion to have. Well, that's just because you're on the outside, just as I am with things like sports. I never really have understood sports all that well. I mentioned before that I now understand the concept of "wounded pride", but that still doesn't explain the appeal of watching a bunch of guys in gaudy uniforms fight over an inflatable ball. However, you don't have to explain that to me, because, whether or not I understand it, I can (and do) still respect it. At the same time, you friends of mine may not understand why I like Nickelodeon sitcoms, science-fiction novels, or classic rock songs, but that doesn't mean you can't respect it.
I get that my tastes are different from most people's, especially those my own age. Being "different" is the story of my life, though. I would hope that everyone on my friends list is mature enough to appreciate those who don't fit the mold, instead of berating them like middle school bullies love to do. As I always say, if you have a problem with me or the things I like to talk about, no one is forcing you to stay on my friends list. Those aforementioned types of entertainment are my passion, so there will be a lot of posts about them. Maybe someday my passion will change, but right now, that's what it is. No, entertainment is not my number one priority; God is, and friends and family are tied for second place. However, entertainmemt still is important to me.
Any comments?

P.S. This post was typed entirely from my iPad. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Where Would I Be Without Entertainment?

All of us like some form of entertainment. Whether it be books, movies, television, sports, computer/video games, music, and/or anything else, we all have some form of it that we enjoy. You may have noticed that, both online and in person, I have voiced a passion for certain kinds of entertainment. I've made countless online posts about my favorite shows, novels I've recently read, or films I've seen lately. Other people, including my friends, post about that stuff as well, but I seem to do it more often than they do. Over the past few months, I've been thinking about why I like all that entertainment so much. Well, just a day or two ago, it came to me: The kinds of entertainment I'm currently into have changed my life.
That may sound ridiculous, but I'll tell you why it's not: Before I started high school, I was into other kinds of entertainment. Usually, that completely consisted of things that were older or obscure, sometimes even both. As you'd expect, that led to continuous harassment from my peers. You could say they were just immature, but even some adults--such as my mom--got really annoyed with hearing about it, too. I'll admit, I wasn't very well-liked back then; still, how much would you like someone who won't shut up about something you either have never heard of or couldn't care less about?
That all changed right at the start of my freshman year of high school. After Growing Pains got taken off of ABC Family's line-up, I was so frustrated with my television, I wanted to throw it in the trash. I said, "There's nothing worth watching on there anymore!" Yet, after watching Lizzie McGuire, I realized that there was good current television out there. Naturally, that led to me watching other Disney sitcoms, which led to Nickelodeon sitcoms, which led to Disney and Nickelodeon movies, which led to Star Wars and Star Trek films, which led to science fiction and fantasy novels...and on and on it goes.
It wasn't just that my tastes in entertainment were current, though. Even some of the things I'd liked before that were also current were still either disliked or unheard of by my peers. The difference was that right many of my peers liked my new-found entertainment choices. I could talk with my friends about Anne Hathaway, Star Wars or That's So Raven much more easily than I could about Mork & Mindy, dc Talk or Hoyle Board Games.
Entertainment's positive effects on me go beyond that, though. This may sound boring, but I don't have the time or space to go into detail about all these stories, so I'll just sum up each one in a sentence or two:
  • Weakest Link brought me out of a serious funk that was caused by the unfair cancellation of a local Christian music festival.
  • Shows such as Lizzie McGuire and iCarly have taught me about situational ethics, and that rules aren't always cut and dry like I sometimes think they are.
  • Sarah's Choice, a Christian movie dealing with abortion, had a finale that almost moved me to tears.
  • ApologetiX had some parodies that taught me about Bible stories I wasn't previously familiar with.
  • Additionally, their music, along with works by other parody artists such as Petrafried, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Bill Nye the Science Guy and even schoolyard parodies such as "Joy to the World, Barney is Dead," all served as inspiration for works of mine such as "The Siobhan Magnus Song," "Library Love Song," and "You Are Not Omniscient".
  • Watching Siobhan Magnus' unfair elimination from Idol last year, as well as that dreadful preview for Love and Other Drugs, helped me understand the wounded pride sports fans feel when their team loses a game.
  • Mario Golf for Game Boy Color taught me all sorts of golf terms.
  • The Gospel of John (as in the movie) enriched my understanding of the life of Jesus.
  • Songs such as "Got My Mind Set on You," "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" and the theme from Top Gear (as in the Super NES game) have enriched my imagination.
  • Many songs about romantic love and relationships, i.e. "Total Eclipse of the Heart," "A Kiss is a Terrible Thing to Waste," and "Head over Feet" have helped get me through times when I was shot down by girls I liked.
  • A TV-movie adaptation of Alice in Wonderland encouraged me to read the original Lewis Carroll novel.
I could sit here for the next hour and recount those stories and many more, but I don't have time for that. I'll finish this post by saying this: Without entertainment, I would not be where I am today. I would still be that widely disliked, constantly annoying guy that no one wants to be around. You can sit there and doubt that entertainment had anything to do with it, but I know that it did.
Any comments?